In defence of inconsistency
Consistency has been a concept I have struggled with for MANY. FUCKING. YEARS.
Seriously, even writing this post has endured some fairly industrial level procrastination. In fact before even finishing the first sentence, I have:
- Watched an entire episode of Pretty Little Liars (TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF OF THOSE PANTS OF JUDGEMENT. I SEE YOU…)
- Had a shower
- Got dressed
- Sent WhatsApp messages to Lotte (follow her, because she’s FUCKING AMAZING) (Aside: I also made an epic typo of boundless hilarity, and now “Wetherspoons”, the brand of affordable and popular British uber-pubs, shall now henceforth be known as “Wergerspoobs”. Much better.)
- You will notice that even this list suffers with procrastination and lacks consistency
- I don’t even know what I’m doing…
My school reports are all dotted with “Gemma doesn’t apply herself” and “Gemma lacks consistency”. And to be honest, I’ve always known there was more in me, I just didn’t see the point of studying for History or Religious Studies when, really, what was I actually going to do with those in my life? (PRO TIP for any teens out there wondering if there really is any point to studying these subjects, I can conclusively declare NO, there is literally and figuratively not one point UNLESS you like them and enjoy them or you just really want to own it at Trivial Pursuit. Get the basics sorted with Maths and English, try and remember a few phrases in a different language that enable you to get by when your family find themselves lost looking for the B&B in a quiet European village and everything else? Seriously, just do the ones you enjoy. Operative word being YOU. Lesson over…)
Even with things that I love, I lack the staying power. I get to a certain level and I’m, well, just done with it. Guitar, keyboard, roller skating, reiki, Michael Jackson.
And consistency is the thing you really need in your life if there’s an area that you want to become masterful in. Running a business, for example, means consistently, day in, day out doing something that moves your business forward, that keeps you in the forefront of people’s minds. Being a fucking epic piano player means, day in, day out, practising playing the piano and the theory and putting your music out there in the ether. Same for being great at a sport, same for pretty much anything else you want to be great at.
But, the big issue is that CONSISTENCY IS FUCKING BORING. It’s ENDLESSLY DULL. The few things I wanted to do endlessly as a youngster were gymnastics, art and singing – and even some of those had boring bits in. The former stopped when my mum decided I wasn’t going to lessons anymore (heartbreaking), and the latter two ended when I went to Grammar school and realised that there were so many other people better than me, so really, what was the point. (Plus, I won’t lie, boys were increasingly more interesting.)
If you are like me, there are two ways you can approach the lack of consistency problem:
1. Choke down consistency every day, and just get it done and reap the rewards of achieving the goal that you desperately want to achieve.
2. Accept that you are never going to fall in love with the process of doing the endless work and – despite what the world might say about it – stand proud in your ok-ness about that.
Fact is, it’s OK to be a perpetual starter; things can never be truly finished anyway, especially when it comes to art or anything creative. It’s OK to only do things that you like. You might not be the next trillionaire business mogul, but is that what you even want? (Hint: if it is, then seriously, choke that consistency down like the filthy gruel it can be or get someone else to do the bits you hate).
When you grow up in a world that wants you to hit goals here and achieve All The Things, it can be hard to understand that, actually, it’s totally fucking fine to flow from one thing to the next, doing what you enjoy.
Looking back on all my reports, my lack of consistency and lack of application were down to the fact I was pretty bored. Boredom for me means I either need to step up to the next level of challenge in that area, or I just need to stop doing the thing that’s making me feel bored and try something completely different. I’d wager the same is true for you.
Find the enjoyment in your own process; and hey, it’s ok if that process looks like the physical dance interpretation of fusion jazz while tripping on mushrooms.